Cars don’t generally excite me and I barely know the difference between makes and models but there is one product for automobiles that makes me smile: cargo liners made by WeatherTech, an Illinois-based company specializing in floor mats and liners for cars, trucks, minivans, and SUV’s. WeatherTech cargo liners are custom designed, laser-measured liners made of thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) – a mix of plastic and rubber – which is wear resistant but flexible even under temperature extremes. Read more
If someone told you a chocolate dessert could be unapologetically luscious, decadent and dairy-free, would you believe her? Fran Costigan, author, baking instructor, and vegan chocolate extraordinaire said just that and I really wanted to believe her but I had my doubts because most vegan chocolate desserts don’t taste as rich and scrumptious as those made with butter, cream, and eggs. How could they? Butter, like chocolate makes nearly everything taste better. But they can, and they do in a new cookbook called Vegan Chocolate. Read more
A few weeks ago, I was watching the last season of Dexter and couldn’t stop staring at Hannah McKay, Dexter’s murderous psychopath girlfriend. The actress, Yvonne Strahovski is young, thin, and beautiful but it was her neck that had me mesmerized…she was wearing a spaghetti-strapped tee which showcased a beautiful silken neck that looked smooth as cream even when her hair was limp and frizzy from the Miami heat and humidity. Read more
The Better Bean Company of Portland, Oregon (why are there so many cool food companies based out of Portland?) considers beans an essential part of fine and healthy cuisines but also realizes that most people don’t have hours to spend in the kitchen cooking beans and adding just the right amount of spices to take the beans from bland to delicious. So, they do it for you by making freshly prepared beans that rival the quality and flavor of the best home cooked or restaurant made beans. Read more
Whenever I travel, I make a point of finding and visiting specialty food stores, farmer’s markets, or independent grocery stores because these stores carry regional and high quality food products that are otherwise unavailable locally. Usually in a downtown area and typically limited to medium to large-sized cities, specialty food stores are like good bookstores: a relaxing place to spend a few hours and take away a special something to enjoy later. The following specialty food stores are worth visiting: Read more
What an odd thing a family was,…The permutations, like the patterns of a chess game, seemed endless.
The Ziller family – Warren and Camille and their three children: Dustin, Delilah (“Lyle”), and Justin, and Mr. Leonard, an old and arthritic dog – left their hometown of Nashotah, Wisconsin in 1982 to move to a suburban development outside of Los Angeles, California. In pursuit of success and wealth, Warren Ziller invests everything in a real estate development – Auburn Fields – that ends up being adjacent to a dump. Three years later (1985) Warren has lost everything but is afraid to tell his family who all seem to be completely unaware of what is going on around them. Read more
She doesn’t always follow the recipe….
Several weeks ago, my daughter suggested we try a recipe called Mexican Chopped Salad with Green Goddess Dressing by Gwyneth Paltrow. My recollection of Green Goddess Dressing is from the 1970’s when a company called Seven Seas made a shelf-stable bottled version of a salad dressing that typically contains a lot of mayonnaise and sour cream: not something that would appeal to my family. Read more
Just Mayo is often referred to as “the joy on your sandwich” but this innovative and delicious new mayo is also a technological breakthrough product likely to become the mayo of the 21st century because instead of eggs, Just Mayo relies on pea protein from a plant. Made by Hampton Creek Foods of San Francisco with the financial backing of some heavy hitters including Bill Gates and Peter Thiel, Just Mayo has four major attributes: taste, nutrition, sustainability, and affordability. Read more
Made in Nature Pineapples are grown on organic farms in the rich and fertile volcanic valley above the cloud forests in Costa Rica. Moist and chewy with the bold flavor of the tropics in which the pineapples are grown, Made in Nature Pineapple has one ingredient: organic dried pineapple pieces.
Naturally sweet with no added sweeteners, preservatives, or artificial colors, the dried unsulfured bite-sized golden pineapple morsels are simply delicious. One bite (which is hard to do because the pineapple is addicting) of this wholesome and nutritious fruit will convince you that Made in Nature makes the best dried pineapple on the market.
Siggi’s of yogurt fame has been making Icelandic style yogurt for nearly a decade using milk from local dairies in upstate New York who do not inject growth hormones into their cows. Icelandic style yogurt or skyr is made by incubating skim milk with live active cultures and then straining the mixture to make a much thicker, creamier and concentrated yogurt. Naturally fat-free, the yogurt is either left as is to make fat-free yogurt or blended with pasteurized cream to make a 2% yogurt that is referred to as rjóma-skyr or cream-skyr yogurt. Read more